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Mental health negatively impacted by pandemic finds WiF and Sports Marketing Surveys

5 August 2020

Mental health negatively impacted by pandemic finds WiF and Sports Marketing Surveys

The mental health of nearly two thirds of women working in football has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis according to a joint survey with Women in Football and Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS).

The findings of the first survey in a series of four, also found that more than three quarters of our members reported differences in how male colleagues have been treated during the pandemic.

The research is capturing the opinions of women working in football and helping to assess whether equality and inclusion in the industry has been affected in the wake of the pandemic.

Early indications are that this is very much the case.

"We saw just a few days ago how the power of football can be used positively with initiatives such as the fantastic #HeadsUp campaign," said Women  in Football CEO Jane Purdon.

"To see people in the industry use their platform to start important conversations about mental health is vital. But football organisations must also check in on their staff too, because their mental health is suffering.

"English football could not exist without women - it makes sense to listen, learn and act."

Apart from mental health issues, some of the other key findings in the report are as follows:

Child Care

  • 88% had been working from home (issue with childcare repeatedly raised)
  • Pressure of juggling work and childcare made them feel vulnerable to redundancy.
  • Many noted how female colleagues seemed to be taking on most childcare responsibilities
  • Vital need for employers to create a culture where staff are encouraged and empowered to share childcare.

Mental Health

  • 50% said that they felt anxious about the future.
  • Almost a third said that they felt anxious about equality within the workplace.

Covid Workplace 

  • Three-quarters reported differences in how male colleagues have been treated during the pandemic
  • Almost a third of women said that their pay had been deceased during the pandemic. 
  • 78% felt changes in their organisation had affected men and women differently with more than 75% having directly experienced or witnessed those anomalies.
  • Less than half felt that they were working as normal
  • Women more likely to be put on furlough, reduced hours or made redundant.
  • Only 40% felt that their job was secure.
  • Half thought that future opportunities in football would be limited.

Almost a third of women said that their pay had decreased during the pandemic despite the fact that more people had seen their workload increase rather than decrease.

And in one organisation where women made up less than 15 per cent of the workforce, almost 40 per cent of those staff made redundant were women, a disproportionate figure representing around a third of all the staff cuts.

To read more about the survey findings, Jeremy Wilson's article can be found in full in the Telegraph here.

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© Women in Football 2020

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